SJUSD Board Members to Vote on Critical Charter Petitions After District Officials Intimidate Spanish-Speaking Parents

May 4, 2017

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Contact: Brittany Parmley 916-221-8588

(San Jose, CA) - Tonight, teachers, parents and supporters of Perseverance Preparatory School and Promise Academy - two proposed charter public schools that are committed to serving students in San Jose - will attend the San Jose Unified School District (SJUSD) Board of Education meeting. These charter public school supporters will be at the meeting to discuss the charter petitions for both schools, respond to intimidation tactics used by District officials and ask SJUSD Board members for a vote.

The SJUSD Board is scheduled to hear both charter's petitions tonight - the third hearing scheduled for Perseverance Preparatory School and the first for Promise Academy. However, 5-hours before the scheduled hearing, District officials have recommended that the board delay discussion around Promise Academy's petition, undermining the parents and students that have expressed interest.

Numerous District delays have kept Perseverance Preparatory School - and now potentially Promise Academy - from being heard, and teachers and parents from both proposed schools have been subject to district intimidation. These tactics are contrary to the intent of the Charter Schools Act, which states that charter public schools are and become an integral part of the California educational system and that establishment be encouraged. Yet, the District's actions will prevent these charter public schools from opening and serving the community.

In preparation for hearing, District officials - including Superintendent Steve McMahon - engaged in efforts to mislead and misinform parents and teachers who exercised choice and voiced an interest in sending their child to either of the proposed charter public schools.

Parents have reported that calls from the District were:

Not translated. Spanish speaking parents were not asked if they needed translation services when called by an English-only speaking District official. There are concerns that District officials will attempt to invalidate those signatures based on the District's own failure to provide adequate translation services. 

Misleading. Calls were framed as "an enrollment verification call", asking about enrollment at their current school rather than at the proposed charter school. This wording was intentionally misleading and confusing to parents.

Aggressive. Voicemails from District officials were left for parents indicating that their signatures would be invalidated if they did not call back within an unreasonably short timeframe. These parents - many who are busy with work and other obligations - had already shown their interest by signing an intent to enroll form.

Worse still, there is absolutely no basis in the law that requires parents to call the District back; in fact, there is no basis in the law allowing "verification" of parent signatures.

What: Parents, teachers and supporters of Perseverance Preparatory School and Promise Academy - two proposed charter public schools - will be at the SJUSD Board Meeting to discuss the charter school petitions and recent intimidation tactics used by District officials.

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, May 4, 2017

Where: District Office Board Room 855 Lenzen Avenue San José, California

About the California Charter Schools Association

The California Charter Schools Association's vision is to increase student learning by growing the number of families choosing high quality charter public schools so that no child is denied the right to a great public education. Our mission is to ensure a million students attend charter public schools by 2022, with charter public schools outperforming non-charter public schools on every measure. We do this by serving as the advocacy organization that builds the policy environment needed to grow as quickly as possible the number of students attending high quality charter public schools. For more information, please visit our website at